How Singapore Airlines Uses AI to Personalize Air Travel

Sep 17, 2019

Mike Rowan, President, Founder @KPItarget

Imagine for a moment the following travel scenario. You’ve spent two days in Mumbai closing sales deals, and you’re headed to Singapore for your company’s Asia-Pacific sales conference where you’re educating sales team members on how to sell the company’s latest software release. On the way to the airport your taxi gets stuck behind a cow, which is sacred in India. Crawling along at a snail’s pace, the minutes until your departure time tick by rapidly. Finally, you’ve made it to the airport, go through security, board the plane and you’re handed a gin and tonic as soon as you’re settled in your seat. There’s no waiting to take off nor does flight attendant inquire about your order. Based on your travel experience with the airline as well as the notifications alerting flight attendants as you progressed through security to the gate, the airline’s staff knew what you wanted and expected (a gin and tonic is your preferred drink). That’s Intelligent Resonance.

Obviously, traveling can often be a stressful endeavor. From packing the right amount and type of clothing to dealing with multiple forms of transportation, many things may disrupt even the most sophisticated travelers.

AI Delivers Personalization

To assist travelers in their sojourns and minimize disruptions as well as to attract them to their brands, airlines and hotels use technology to improve the travel experience. For example, Singapore Airlines is using artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver more personalized experiences across all its channels. While no airline may be able to deliver the level of personalization described in the above example, Singapore Airlines wants to personalize each of its customer’s travel experiences.

To personalize effectively, Singapore Airlines focuses on the end-to-end customer experience, not just one component. From the booking experience to the actual travel experience to the ongoing relationship experience in between trips, Singapore Airlines provides tailored communications to its customers. The airline uses Insider’s Growth Management Platform that delivers the customer intelligence to power the personalization. Insider enables it to treat all passengers as individuals no matter what devices they are using. 

With Insider’s predictive capabilities, Singapore Airlines not only personalizes its marketing communications, but also its communications that help retain customers, by providing an individualized communications experience before, during, and after your trip. The airline also can use AI to increase revenue by maximizing the average order value through ancillary products and services that go beyond the revenue generated from the airline ticket itself. For example, if I were a Singapore Airlines customer, then I could expect the airline to suggest a specific seat for me when I’m booking a flight and notify me of select sporting events at my destination, enabling me to purchase tickets that give the airline a referral fee that increases its revenue while simultaneously enhancing my customer experience.

Personalization Expected

The more consumers experience personalization from companies like Singapore Airlines, the more they will expect it from others. Of course, they will expect this on their own terms without the personalization being creepy. It’s critical for brands to design personalized experiences that enhance rather than detract from the overall experience. This includes how brands collect information from consumers to enable this level of personalization. Practicing data collection transparency will go a long way to earning consumer trust, and brands must be clear with consumers about how they collect and use their data.

Additionally, it’s important for brands to develop a consumer-focused personalization program that empathizes with customers before incorporating technology like Insider to analyze the data and deliver the insights that enable the personalization that improves the customer experience. Intelligent Resonance incorporates technology to power communications that will resonate with customers, and this can only be done if use of the technology is led by a strategy developed by your team prioritizing customer needs. That includes being sensitive to their needs and privacy concerns, keeping customers’ preferences of how they want to interact with brands top of mind. 

Ultimately, Intelligent Resonance is changing the way we shape the customer experience for the better, and brands need to embrace it or be left behind, recognizing that they may make mistakes along the way. These practices underscore the importance of transparency as a regularly practiced company value; consumers can forgive companies who have been honest about data collection practices all along much more readily than companies who have left them in the dark. Consumers will expect brands to engage with them on an individual level, as innovative brands continue to practice Intelligent Resonance more often. It’s no longer a question of whether brands should or shouldn’t be doing this level of personalization — for brands to thrive, they must innovate with Intelligent Resonance practices that personalize communications or risk losing customers to competitors.

To discuss how you can embrace Intelligent Resonance, please contact